Lidl trumps Aldi in the battle for bargain hunters with sales up almost 10% on last year

Taking the cake: Lidl sales in the three months to May 12 were 9.4%  higher than the same period a year earlier

Lidl won a record share of the grocery market this spring while arch-rival Aldi lost ground.

As a fierce battle for customers rages, figures showed sales at Lidl in the three months to May 12 were 9.4 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier.

That gave it an 8.1 per cent share of the market, the highest level on record for the German discounter and up from 7.7 per cent a year ago.

By contrast, Aldi sales rose by just 2.2 per cent and its market share slipped from 10.1 per cent to 10 per cent – although since September 2022 it has replaced Morrisons as Britain’s fourth-largest grocer.

Kantar, which published the data, put Lidl’s rise down to success at its bakery counters, where fresh bread, cakes and pastries were in high demand. 

Discounts through its app also proved popular.

Jonathan De Mello, founder of the JDM Retail consultancy, said he believed that Aldi was a victim of its bumper performance last year. 

‘It was always going to be harder to beat that level of growth they achieved before,’ he said.

‘Lidl had OK growth last year but nowhere near Aldi’s.’

And price cuts at supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s – in a bid to compete with the runaway success of Aldi – meant the competition for cash-strapped shoppers has increased. 

Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco increased its share to 27.6 per cent from 27.1 per cent a year ago, and the second largest, Sainsbury’s, rose from 14.8 per cent to 15.1 per cent.

Woes at the two private equity-owned grocers, Asda and Morrisons, continued, with both losing market share despite launching cheaper products to compete with the discounters.

Price rises back to normal 

Supermarket prices are rising at the slowest rate for two-and-a-half years.

Industry research group Kantar said grocery price inflation has fallen for a 15th month in a row to 2.4 per cent.

It is now just 0.8 percentage points above the ten-year average of 1.6 per cent between 2012 and 2021, just before prices began to climb. 

Kantar’s Fraser McKevitt said: ‘Grocery price inflation is gradually returning to what we would consider more normal levels.

‘However, after years of rapidly rising prices, it could take longer for shoppers to unwind the habits they learnt to help them manage the cost-of-living crisis.’